The Influence of competency based technical training on youth employability: a study of technical training institutions in Nairobi County
Ndile, Lynette Mwende
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Over the next twenty years, global growth and poverty reduction will be driven by today’s youth, yet majority face significant difficulties engaging in productive employment; mainly due to a mismatch of the competencies they possess to those required by the labour market. In addition, the World Bank’s recent estimation is that 250–300 Million young people are idle or unemployed, as little is known about how best to smoothen the school-to-work transition. Therefore, the problem of unemployment among the youth is a huge concern. Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is one promising avenue in addressing this problem, which is the highest in Africa. Governments globally endeavour to create an economic environment that promotes the growth of enterprises and generally stimulates the economy. Thus, Kenya like many other Sub Saharan countries is grappling with a desire to improve its economy in a competitive global market. This brings us to the question of skills competencies as it is imperative to formulate the best methodology of imparting these skills in the youth. Kenya identified the critical role of TVET in preparing, developing and updating the skills and competences to meet the needs of the changing industrial environment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) approach in TVET curriculum delivery on youth employability. CBET is an industry and demand-driven, education and training programme based on industry generated standards. TVET graduates, trainers and employers comprised the study sample frame and stratified sampling was used to draw an aggregate of 229 study subjects. Data was collected through questionnaires and analysed quantitatively. It was presented using frequency tables, graphs, percentage means and pie charts. The study findings were that TVET institutions offering CBET programs had high levels of access to technical training opportunities and ensured that graduates learning experience was unique due to training based on industry’s occupational standards. The study observes that graduates who underwent the CBET programs were very competent at their workplace and performed better in contrast to traditional approach graduates who were deemed not adequate enough in delivery of job tasks and performance objectives. The study concludes that CBET programs immensely increased the employability aspects among the youth compared to the conventional approach of training. The study also established there exists a strong relationship between the variables that are high for employability and CBET. Therefore, CBET graduates are more likely to be employed compared to non-CBET graduates in a given labour market since the correlation co-efficient, r, for CBET programs is greater than that of non-CBET programs. Skills obtained from CBET driven technical courses provided the youth with more competencies in comparison to traditional-approach courses. The study recommends creating awareness on the role of TVET and sensitizing the youth on the importance of CBET so as to improve their employability.
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